May 25, 2022  
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022 
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022

Graduate Student Life

Center for Graduate Life

The Graduate School is committed to providing graduate students at UNC Charlotte with the highest caliber of graduate education.  While academic instruction and scholarly research are the ultimate foundation of any graduate education, the Graduate School also recognizes the importance of providing students with the resources and services needed to develop themselves professionally.  The Graduate School’s Center for Graduate Life (CGL) supports the success of all graduate students.  Located in the Cone University Center, the CGL offers space for community building and interdisciplinary exchange. The center offers professional development in the form of credit-bearing courses and workshops to build core competencies among students in communication, leadership, teaching, cultural engagement, and ethics and scholarly inquiry.  

Doctoral Writing Support

The Center for Graduate Life supports the writing efforts of master’s students and doctoral students who are actively writing their dissertations.  The CGL’s Assistant Teaching Professor of Writing offers one-on-one coaching sessions to help dissertation students improve their academic writing skills, understand the dissertation process, work more effectively with their chairs and committee members, manage their time, set realistic writing goals, and deal with barriers to writing.  Graduate students are encouraged to participate structured communal writing time held twice weekly and in Graduate Writing Retreats offered several times each academic year.

Graduate Life Fellows

Each year, the Center for Graduate Life appoints a group of master’s and doctoral-level students from across degree disciplines to serve as Graduate Life Fellows (GLFs). GLFs enjoy the opportunity to gain important leadership and communication skills while having a meaningful impact on the graduate student experience.  For more information on the GLF program, visit

New Graduate Student Orientation

The Graduate School conducts University-wide orientation programs for new graduate and post-baccalaureate students at the start of each Fall and Spring semester.  Information about the dates and times of these programs can be found online.  Information is also sent directly to newly enrolled students at the time of matriculation, along with the link to the Graduate School’s New Graduate Student Onboarding Portal.

The New Graduate Student Onboarding Portal is a curated guide that offers a snapshot of vital information new graduate students need from the time they enroll through their first year. In addition to providing the basics that students need to get started, the site highlights information about various University programs and services for graduate students, important policies and procedures, and resources available to support graduate students academically and socially.

Many individual graduate programs conduct discipline-specific orientation programs for their new graduate students. Degree students should contact their major department for information on programs that may be available. In addition, the International Student/Scholar Office (ISSO) conducts orientation sessions specifically designed for international graduate students.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Training

In an effort to ensure all Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) have the necessary information and policies needed to be successful in their teaching role, the Center for Graduate Life requires each new GTA to complete online training prior to the start of their assistantship.  This training, available in Canvas, includes modules on FERPA, Discrimination/ADA, Common First Amendment Issues, Title IX, Classroom Management, The Art of the Rubric, and more.  The online training is required by UNC Charlotte, in addition to any TA Training offered at the department level.  More information can be found online.

Student Involvement

Students at UNC Charlotte are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities.  UNC Charlotte acknowledges that graduate students have many, many priorities in their lives.  However, as with so many other aspects of one’s life, active involvement enhances the experience, promotes well-being, and helps individuals develop skills needed for professional success.

Graduate students are encouraged to participate in student leadership at some point during their academic career. In particular, graduate students may hone skills that will be useful in a variety of academic and industry professions. An active student body contributes to the vibrant community of graduate students and scholars at UNC Charlotte, making graduate education more relevant to students across disciplines.

Graduate and Professional Student Government

The Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) is the governing and primary organization for graduate students to present their needs to the University.  The purpose of the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG), according to the by-laws, is to serve as an appropriate voice on campus for graduate students, to meet the various needs of graduate students, and to establish a liaison between graduate faculty, graduate students, and the University. All graduate students are members of the GPSG.

In the spring of 1998, the Graduate Student Association successfully petitioned the student body through a referendum on the spring student body elections.  The results of this referendum provided a significant change in the student body constitution and provided for the Graduate and Professional Student Government to become a separate governing body and representative organization for graduate students.  In outlining the reasons for this separation, the GPSG cited the need for a GPSG office and the graduate student share of student activity fees to support: departmental graduate student associations, graduate student travel to read papers and present research at academic conferences, and developing a Graduate Student Research Fair.

During the 1998-1999 academic year, GPSG began functioning as its own governing body.  In the 1999-2000 academic year, the recognition of current (and new) graduate student organizations and the funding of these groups, including the GPSG, became the responsibility of the Graduate and Professional Student Government.  In 2019, GPSG formally separated from SGA to become its own separate organization. Since the inception of the GPSG, the availability of student activity fees to graduate students directly have increased dramatically. GPSG has been very successful in advocating for and supporting graduate student needs. An annual Research Symposium competition was begun in the spring of 2001 to showcase and reward excellence in graduate student research across all disciplines.  GPSG continues to be active in new graduate student orientation, encouraging and recognizing graduate student organizations and increasing the amount of student activity fee support for graduate students.  Each graduate program has the opportunity to be represented on the GPSG senate.

The GPSG Office is located in the Student Union.  More information can be found online at

Graduate Student Organizations

There are a number of graduate student organizations directly associated with academic programs.  These include:

  • Advocates for Change (AFC)
  • American Society for Computational Mechanics (ASCM)
  • American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE)
  • Anthropology Graduate Student Association (AGSA)
  • Association of Biological Sciences Graduate Students (ABSGS)
  • Association of Chemistry Graduate Students (ACGS)
  • Association of Nanoscience Graduate Students (ANGS)
  • Bioinformatics Assembly of Students (BiAS)
  • CCI Grads (CCI Grads)
  • Charlotte Healthcare Executive Student Organization (CHESO)
  • Children’s Literature Graduate Organization (CLGO)
  • Club for A.I. Research (CAIR)
  • Communication Studies Graduate Student Association (CSGSA)
  • Ekush-Bangladeshi Student Organization at UNC Charlotte (EKUSH)
  • English Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
  • Geography and Earth Science Graduate Organization (GESGO)
  • Giftedness, Crativity, Innovation, and Talent Research (G-CITE)
  • Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG)
  • Graduate Business Association (GBA)
  • Graduate History Association (GHA)
  • Graduate Public Health Association (GPHA)
  • Graduate Public Policy Association (GPPA)
  • Graduate Social Work Association (GSWA)
  • Health Psychology Graduate Student Association (HPGSA)
  • Master of Architecture Student Society (MASS)
  • Mu Tau Beta (Counseling) (MTB)
  • Philosophical Union UNCC (Philosophical Union)
  • Public Administration Student Association (PASA)_
  • School of Data Science Student Organization (SDS SO)
  • Sociology Graduate Student Association (SGSA)
  • SPIE/OSA Student Chapter at UNC Charlotte (SPIE)
  • Urban Educators for Change (UEC)
  • VersatiLS Graduate Liberal Studies Student Organization (VersatiLS)

Information on each group is available from the individual academic program department. Some groups have information available on the Student Organizations website.